Port of Everett Turns to Lawyers Over Commissioner’s Seat

August 7, 2013

Everett, Everett Government

Got this interesting news from the Port of Everett today…

Port of Everett Commissioner Hoffman

Port Commissioner Michael Hoffmann. photo courtesy Port of Everett website

On August 6, Port of Everett Commissioners Michael Hoffmann, Troy McClelland and Tom Stiger passed a resolution asking the Snohomish County Prosecutor’s office to review whether District 3 Port Commissioner Michael F. Hoffmann continues to meet the residency qualification for his office.

The resolution was drafted by Port legal counsel after Port Executive Director John Mohr was notified by Commissioner Hoffmann that he was no longer residing at his District 3 address. As set forth in RCW 53.12.010(1), to qualify for office, “only a registered voter who resides in a commissioner district may be a candidate for, or hold office as, a commissioner of the commissioner district;…”

During the meeting on August 6, Commissioner Hoffmann indicated that he did not intend to renew his voter registration, and does not believe it is a requirement for holding public office.

“This resolution provides a mechanism to review the differing legal opinions between Port legal counsel and Commissioner Hoffmann regarding the residency requirement to serve in public office,” Port Attorney Brad Cattle said.

Commissioner Hoffmann agreed.

With the resolution now passed, the matter has been forwarded to the Snohomish County Prosecutor’s office to review the qualifications of Commissioner Hoffmann, and if appropriate, initiate legal proceedings under Chapter 7.56 RCW if there has been a lapse of a public official’s qualifications.

It is unclear how long the legal determination will take, Cattle said, but the Port will request an expeditious review of the qualifications. If it is determined that Commissioner Hoffmann is no longer qualified to serve as a Port Commissioner, the Port Commission will move into an appointment process to fill the balance of Commissioner Hoffmann’s term, which concludes December 31, 2013. Commissioner Hoffmann is not seeking re-election.

According to his bio on the Port of Everett website, Mr. Hoffmann was elected to the Port Commission in November 2007, and took office in January 2008. Mr. Hoffmann owned his own company, Hoffmann Construction, for more than 20 years. Currently he runs Hoffmann Architectural Design. His priorities at the Port of Everett are ensuring sustainability, good environmental stewardship and practicing good economics.

Mr. Hoffmann was born and raised in Edmonds, Washington and studied at the Art Institute of Seattle in graphic arts and visual communications. He has two children, a thirteen-year-old daughter and an eleven-year-old son

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